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Think holograms are high-tech? Create the illusion of 3-D depth with Crayola® Gel Markers on Plexiglas. It’s amazing!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. How do holograms work? A hologram is an image made by a special beam of light. Holograms appear to be 3-D, and the effect can be seen from all angles. Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor invented the first hologram in 1947. Invite students to investigate holograms. Organize a variety of resources for students to use while researching this topic.
    2. Once research is complete, ask students to make a 3-D image that looks like a hologram. Before beginning artwork, tell students it helps to understand how human eyes perceive space. When you look at a distant landscape, what do you notice? The colors seem dull, you see less detail, edges are not as sharp, and you see less contrast. Why? Because you are looking through the air, which has density. On overcast days, the effect is even more pronounced. This phenomenon is called atmospheric perspective.
    3. Distribute Plexiglas to groups of students. To make a pseudo hologram, students need at least three pieces of Plexiglas (for the foreground, middle ground, and background). Ask a clerk at a frame shop or home center to cut the Plexiglas into equal sizes, at least as big as a large index card.
    4. Draw a landscape scene. On the first sheet of Plexiglas, students use a Crayola Gel Marker to draw images that are far away. Landscapes may be best when this is first tried. Use colors that have a minimum amount of contrast, such as blue, gray, and white. Use a cotton swab to blend the edges of drawings so it has a fuzzy, far-away look.
    5. On the second sheet of Plexiglas, students draw details that are still in the distance, but not as far away as before. Use slightly brighter colors, and blend them less. These objects should be slightly larger than the ones drawn before, because they are closer.
    6. On the third sheet, students draw objects in the foreground. Use highly contrasting, bright colors. Don’t blend the edges. Make these objects the largest and brightest of all.
    7. Assemble holograms. Roll out a thick base of white Crayola Model Magic. Press your Plexiglas into it, leaving a little space between each sheet. Air-dry overnight.
    8. View the Pseudo Holograms from the front for a 3-D effect. WOW!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Obtain information that animals have structures that allow them to respond to stimuli through instinct or memory.

    SCI: Investigate and explain that for an object to be seen, light must be reflected off the object and enter the eye.

    SCI: Investigate and provide evidence that the color people see depends on the color of the available light sources as well as the properties of the surface of the object reflecting the light.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students to use this method to analyze a landscape painting by a famous artist. Students, working in teams of two, separate foreground, middle ground, and background into separate areas. Analyze the painting based upon findings. Write a summary of findings to post with artwork.

    Students write a short story using the scene of their original hologram as a scene in the story. Display each together in the classroom for others to view.


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